Residents and the organisation Animal Liberation are lining up to speak when a dog breeding facility development modification goes to the Local Planning Panel on August 3.
The Planning Panel has agreed to allow speakers five minutes instead of the usual three but it refused a request for ten minutes for an organisation such as Animal Liberation to speak.
The panel allows an applicant 15 minutes to speak.
Animal Liberation had also asked for an extended period of time for residents to study the council report that will go to the planning panel.
The report is not yet public.
In June, Animal Liberation questioned council processes because the application should have returned to the Local Planning Panel before its approval ran out in April 2022.
Administrator Rik Hart refused to get involved, saying it was an “operational matter” and he had limitations on his role.
Animal Liberation said it was led to believe – via council advice – that the development modification would be going out on another public exhibition and it had been expecting the public exhibition in March 2023, then April, then May but there was no further update from council.
Now it has received advice that it will go directly to the planning panel meeting on August 3.
The proposal for a dog breeding facility at 604 Ourimbah Creek Road, Palm Grove, has attracted plenty of opposition in the four years since the original application in 2020 noted the farm had been operating without consent.
The Local Planning Panel gave a time-limited approval for the operation in December 2020 despite a council report recommending refusal.
The approval was for a fifteen month period only and any extension was supposed to require the prior submission and approval of an application.
“In considering any application for the extension of this consent, Council would have regard to relevant matters under (the Act), including any submissions received during the period,” the panel said at the time.
Conditions of the approval included acoustic assessments; policies to be prepared on complaints handling and dispute resolution and neighbours to be given the phone number of a manager who had to be contactable 24 hours a day.
In October 2022, residents protested outside Council’s administration building in Wyong trying to get updated information on the planning process.
In March 2022, the development application for ongoing approval was opened for public comment but residents complained about council’s planning portal being difficult to access.
Animal Liberation put the documents on its website.
The council portal has now more than 1200 documents, including hundreds of submissions from the public.